According to YouTube, over 100 hours of video are uploaded to the video site every minute. This means that, roughly, over 144,000 hours worth of video ends up on YouTube each day.
For any rookie or veteran creator, standing out amongst the hordes of content hosted on YouTube each day is a constant battle, and the video site’s recent site update hasn’t helped this struggle either. YouTube has cast off from a more “channel surfing” format and has instead focused on directing viewers to only the top, established channels.
So how can a creator stand out against this veritable tidal wave of daily content? YouTube, in a way, is like a massive, Walmart-big website, and as it is for any site, content is sorted and parsed via tags. YouTube has allowed every video to specifically give themselves multiple tags to help funnel content. In this way, tags are incredibly important in helping your content stick out.
If you want to get ahead with your content, check out these 3 best practices for tagging YouTube videos.
Start by Figuring out What Your Video Is About
Tags can be broken down into two levels of categorization:
1. Generic tags: As a note, macro tags should probably be avoided due to the fact that tagging “Comedy” isn’t necessarily going to help your video stand out. However, some generic tags can help YouTube sort your videos into specific categories like “Music” or “Gaming.”
2. Specific Tags: Tailored tags will be what helps your content really stick out when someone searches a specific topic. Like any search engine, if someone searched “Minecraft” on YouTube, videos with “Minecraft” either in the tags or title should show up. Specificity is key here; if you are doing a “Minecraft” mod tutorial, consider how people will be searching for that kind of content. Will they type just “Minecraft” or the full name of the mod as well?
Keep Your Tags Tight
With the ability to tag as much as you want, endlessly tagging in hopes that your video will show up everywhere should be avoided. YouTube is fairly strict on abusing tags; so much so that the video site disabled public tags last year in hopes of curbing this form of spam. Over-using tags rarely works for creators and usually leaves anyone who is tricked by tag abuse pissed and looking to flag.
On the other side of the coin, don’t be too skittish with your tagging. Trying to focus specifically on one area of YouTube will quickly gaurantee your video never sees the light of day. Focus on the specific topics your video covers and include those ideas among your tagging. When in doubt, just ask yourself: “What is my video about?” If you can answer that, then you can start tagging accurately.
Avoid Useless Tags
As you move on to actually labeling your video with the appropriate amount of tags, don’t waste any of those precious keywords on something pointless. Here are some things you should never include among your tags:
– Compound tags: Using “Minecraft” as an example, never list out a phrase or sentence in your tags. Inserting something like “MinecraftTutorial” will only read as nonsense to YouTube’s tag-parsing algorithms. Instead, break it up into two words or two tags: “Minecraft Tutorial.”
– Misspellings: Good lord, avoid incorrect spelling at all costs. The same goes for commonly switched words like “lighting” and “lightning.” Mix words like this up, and you could lose your entire audience.
– Conjunctions and Prepositions: There is no need to add singular words like “of,” “if” and “in.” Add these words when they are in a title and never by themselves.
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